Elevation: 9,019 ft
Piney Peak is found on page 338. Updated November 2018
There is a question as to whether Piney Peak or Garns Mountain is the highest Big Hole Mountain peak. Ken Jones of Newcastle, WA. writes: Garns Mountain, 9,016 feet (?) and Piney Peak, 9,019 feet (July 9, 2001). I’m not sure where you got the 9,019 feet elevation for Piney Peak. However, the 9,016 feet elevation for Garns Mountain is at the benchmark, and my best estimate was that the highest summit rock rises 3 feet above the benchmark. Working with a sighting level (both directions) I was unable to determine which of these two peaks was higher. I’m not sure that “The highest point in the Big Hole Mountains” can be entirely justified in your description of Piney Peak.
See the Garns Mountain, Piney Peak and Red Butte traverse page for updated details on how to reach these three summits. Also, use the link below to see Dan Robbin’s trip report. Margo Mandella provides additional information below from her and Steve’s 2018 backpack trip to Piney Peak from the south.
USGS Topo: Garns Mountain
Piney Peak Trip by Margo Mandella
We climbed Piney Peak from the south as an overnight trip where we also climbed Peak 7987, Black Mountain, Chicken Peak, Liars Peak, and Peak 8619. All these peaks are accessible off a well-traveled trail from Fleming Canyon that is also popular for guided hunting and dirt bikes. There are no water sources along or near the main trail except one small spring that was not flowing when we were there in late September.
Access from Fleming Canyon
To get to Piney Peak, first get to Fleming Canyon. As you travel toward Victor, Idaho, on Highway 31, the canyon is located on the north side of the highway. Specifically, the canyon is between Stouts Mountain and the West Piney Girls Recreation Camp. The canyon turnoff is not signed and easily missed. Putting Fleming Canyon into Google Maps will get you close to the canyon’s jeep road (shown in Google [erroneously] as 270, this trail is actually 079).
If you have a 4WD, you can travel a good distance into the canyon, but you may need a high clearance 4WD depending on conditions/time of year. There is no formal parking anywhere. To climb Peak 7987, you will follow this jeep road until it turns into a single track trail so park wherever it is convenient. We parked near Gopher Canyon, but you can possibly get further in, near Snowslide Gulch.
Southeast Ridge Route, Class 2
From where you park, hike on Trail 079 further into Fleming Canyon until you encounter a junction with the Dry Canyon trail. Stay to the right to stay on Trail 079. As you continue upward on the trail you will encounter signage. At this point, follow signs to Black Mountain. Continue past Black Mountain until you reach a bigger junction with signs for several trails around 7800 feet. From here you are 3 miles to Piney Peak.
Continue on this trail until you are at the base of the Piney Peak’s Southeast Ridge. If you have climbed Liars peak first, bushwhack from that summit into Liars Peak’s northeast gully to avoid rock faces and reconnect with the main trail.
Ascend the Southeast Ridge to Piney Peak’s summit. From here enjoy views of the Teton Range and other Big Hole peaks including Garns Mountain (immediately to the northeast). Another ranked peak (8619) shares a saddle with Piney Peak and is worth the side trip.